YouTube blocked in China

By Sterling “Chip” Camden
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Expanding on its campaign against Internet content that is Illegal and Harmful, the Chinese government’s gatekeepers of the Web have now blocked YouTube.

While many around the globe might agree that much of what you find on YouTube may be harmful to the brain, this move by China seems to focus specifically on the class of “harmful” material that “hinders national security and unity”.  Not to fall into the fallacy of correlation implies causation, but I’m not the only one who is just a little suspicious about the fact that this clog in the YouTubes coincides with a condemnation by the Chinese news agency Xinhua of a video on YouTube that allegedly shows Tibetans being beaten by Chinese security forces during protests last year.  According to an official quoted by Xinhua, the video was doctored in order to put the blame on the Chinese government instead of the protesters, who were really the cause of the violence.

While most of the rest of the world thinks of the Dalai Lama as a peaceful leader in exile, the official view in China is that he hides behind a facade of non-violence while inciting the same in Tibet, in an attempt to achieve Tibetan independence and restore the old feudal system.  They paint the latter as a theocracy with serfdom, diametrically opposed to Democratic Reform.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time believing any talk of “democracy” from a government that suppresses the free expression of ideas.  Whom do you believe?

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20 Responses to YouTube blocked in China

  1. I believe the Chinese government is at least partly right about the "Dalai Lama". On the other hand, I also suspect that anything less than unqualified economic success causes the current Chinese government a lot of domestic discomfort, and that any excuse to deflect blame is extremely welcome. As much possible they will blame their internal problems on external causes (and the USA wins as the biggest external cause). They have to stop short of endangering any economic relationship (at least for a few more years), so the rhetoric must be carefully scoped.

    On the other hand, blocking YouTube … am a bit conflicted over whether this is a good or bad thing. :)

    • I, too, have my suspicions about just how much violence would be acceptable to the Dalai Lama, if it meant a return to real power for him. And I wonder what a "free" Tibetan society would be like. But as a rule, I favor self-determination over globalization. I'd like to put the matter to a vote of the people living in Tibet, both Tibetan and Han.

      Regarding YouTube — it may be the death of modern society, but again on principle I favor freedom of expression over cultural purism.

  2. I believe the Chinese government is at least partly right about the “Dalai Lama”. On the other hand, I also suspect that anything less than unqualified economic success causes the current Chinese government a lot of domestic discomfort, and that any excuse to deflect blame is extremely welcome. As much possible they will blame their internal problems on external causes (and the USA wins as the biggest external cause). They have to stop short of endangering any economic relationship (at least for a few more years), so the rhetoric must be carefully scoped.

    On the other hand, blocking YouTube … am a bit conflicted over whether this is a good or bad thing. :)

    • I, too, have my suspicions about just how much violence would be acceptable to the Dalai Lama, if it meant a return to real power for him. And I wonder what a “free” Tibetan society would be like. But as a rule, I favor self-determination over globalization. I’d like to put the matter to a vote of the people living in Tibet, both Tibetan and Han.

      Regarding YouTube — it may be the death of modern society, but again on principle I favor freedom of expression over cultural purism.

    • Ipredator will help you surf more anonymously, but I hadn't thought about the idea that it might also help you to access content that's being filtered in your area. Probably so, since it uses a VPN.

    • Ipredator will help you surf more anonymously, but I hadn’t thought about the idea that it might also help you to access content that’s being filtered in your area. Probably so, since it uses a VPN.

  3. You can't really use TOR or a anonymous surfing site (like http://www.anonymizer.com). You can't contact the youtube server so you can't download the FLV files either. ipredator seems like a good choice, but you do have to pay.

    I can't believe the Chinese government would block such a high-traffic website. I am screwed without my youtube videos, specially the one's GAS has articles about :(

  4. You can't really use TOR or a anonymous surfing site (like http://www.anonymizer.com). You can't contact the youtube server so you can't download the FLV files either. ipredator seems like a good choice, but you do have to pay.

    I can't believe the Chinese government would block such a high-traffic website. I am screwed without my youtube videos, specially the one's GAS has articles about :(